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Are Your KPIs Helping Or Hindering?

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There’s nothing new about Key Performance Indicators (KPIs).  They’ve long been acknowledged as a necessary framework to monitor and measure process and operational  performance – and they provide a foundation for operations to improve their efficiencies and enhance their financial success.

KPIs can be modified and expanded as time goes on in order to drive further organisational improvements and behavioural changes.

But when it comes to asset maintenance and reliability, KPIs don’t always motivate people to make good decisions and do the right thing.  In fact, some would argue that KPIs can actually result in false positives and can hinder an organisation’s ability to achieve long-term, sustainable improvements.

But how does that happen?

Let’s take an example of an offshore oil and gas facility where KPIs have been developed to ensure asset and equipment reliability.  One of the key focus areas of the asset reliability engineer is to monitor Mean time to repair (MTTR), which is defined as the average time required to troubleshoot and repair failed equipment and return it to normal operating conditions.  MTTR is ultimately a reflection on how well the organisation responds to a maintenance issue and fixes it so that the system is returned to production.

In an ideal world, MTTR is an excellent KPI which can lead to significant operational improvements.  However, if this indicator isn’t fully understood or isn’t given the appropriate treatment, then it may be detrimental to the organisation’s efficiencies.

For example, an operator may take a shortcut or they may make the wrong judgement when carrying out an inspection in order to return the equipment back to full service in the fastest time possible.  If this does happen, the overall health and reliability of the asset won’t deliver on the KPI target in the long run.  In fact, it may even result in further equipment failures, more downtime and increased costs – which is certainly not the added value that the KPI was established to deliver.

On the other hand, if the time taken to repair equipment is excessive, it may point to problems with regards to spare parts, planning etc.

If equipment is failing, then it’s critical to examine and identify the root causes.  Appropriate testing or inspection equipment can provide invaluable information and evidence about defects and failures etc, and together with proper preventative maintenance, can help drive sustainable improvements in performance and profitability.

When it comes to creating a culture of reliability within an organisation, everyone has to take ownership of the assets and focus on improving operational and financial performance by making reliable production a priority.

KPIs are a proven way of allocating responsibility, creating accountability and driving change and improvements within an organisation but it is critical that these measurement systems aren’t used for the wrong reasons.  KPIs need to benchmarked regularly and the variables constantly re-evaluated so that they remain relevant and valuable to the organisation.

Your technical equipment supplier can play a key role in the development and maintenance of your KPIs for asset and equipment reliability.  By choosing a partner which has a deep understanding of your industry and your business, you’ll get practical recommendations on how your non-destructive testing and inspection technologies can be applied in the most appropriate way that reduces downtime and delivers real value.

Nexxis, a leading technical solutions provider in Australia has a reputation for adding value to its clients and helping them make smarter and more profitable business decisions through their responsive and flexible approach.  We supply an extensive range of leading-edge inspection, testing and measuring equipment for a variety of applications including offshore oil rigs, subsea installations, engines, machinery, mining operations, infrastructure projects and manufacturing processes – all of which are available for hire, lease or purchase.


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